GST Council gives relaxation of 2 months for filing tax returns; Sets tax rates for lotteries and hotel rooms

The GST Council relaxed return filing rules for businesses for the first two months of the rollout of the new indirect tax regime. Briefing media at meeting of the council in New Delhi on Sunday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, to obviate any lack of preparedness, a slight relaxation of time for two months has been given and from September, strict adherence to time will go on.

As per the revised return filing timeline decided by the Council, for July, the sale returns will have to be filed by September 5 instead of August 10. Companies will have to file sale invoice for August with the GST Network by September 20 instead of September 10 earlier.

The industry has been pushing for deferment of the tax implementation. Speaking on AC hotels, Mr Jaitley said, the Council decided to raise the threshold for the 28 per cent tax to 7,500 rupees from 5,000 rupees at present. He said, an 18 per cent GST will be levied on bills of 2,500 rupees to 7,500 rupees.

The Finance Minister said, GST Council gave its nod to tax lotteries in two segments with state-run ones attracting 12 per cent GST and the state-authorised 28 per cent. He said, the council categorically decided to stick to the deadline of July 1st to roll out GST. Mr Jaitley said, an official launch of the GST will take place in New Delhi on that day. The GST Council will meet again on 30th June on the eve of the launch.

The Finance Minister also said that GST network will take four to five months to prepare E-Way Bill. He added that it was decided in the meeting to have further deliberations on E-way Bill as Council had two opinions. He said having IGST on shipping vessels at 5 percent is still a pending issue.